Few performers are as versatile as singer, composer and producer CeCe Rogers.
Well respected for his skills on the piano, CeCe can slide effortlessly from playing an R&B gig at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to a sanctified gospel church in New Jersey to a swinging jazz or house club in Europe. And all the while, his powerful voice is always on point. One of the most prestigious vocalists in house music, CeCe is a legend in the house music movement.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, CeCe began studying piano at the age of five. His mother, a music teacher, introduced him to gospel, the music that forms his musical foundation. He was considered a child prodigy and at the age of 9, CeCe was a featured musician on the weekly television program ” The Gene Carroll Show”. Born Kenneth Rogers, CeCe was given his nickname by a childhood friend, so named after his early passion for chocolate chip cookies.
Later as an 11-year-old he performed on the “Soul City Show” with James Brown. So impressed was the Godfather by the young boys dancing that he drew comparisons between him and Chubby Checker and christened Rogers “Little C.C.” after him. Shortened to CeCe, the name stuck.
Moving to the New York area, Rogers taught voice and piano, as well as doing session work with such stars as Melba Moore and Freddie Jackson. He also formed his own group, CeCe & Company and their repertoire included Jazz and R&B tunes. Some of the group’s vocalist at the time was Sybil, Adeva, and Kenny Bobien. The group performed in venues all over the country.
In 1988 CeCe hooked up with Marshall Jefferson and recorded the track “Someday”. “Someday” to this day ranks as one of the true greats. Rated number 3 in MixMags’s 100 greatest singles of all time.
No single record distills the collectivist, loving spirit of house music. No surprise that the simple, but potent downward moving chord sequence was used later on every record ever, including “Sweet Harmony” by Liquid and ripped off on the Farley and Heller version of “There But For The Grace Of God”, and “Finally” by CeCe Penniston. While the vocal line was nicked for “Some Justice” by Urban Shakedown. M people would later remake “Someday”. An Anthem of the genre since its release, the song has sold over ten million copies worldwide and spores the club hits “All Join Hands”, “Forever”, “Brothers and Sisters” and “No Love Lost”.
Respected throughout the world as one of the pioneers of house music, CeCe has produced, written and performed with Marshall Jefferson, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, George Morel, Grant Nelson, Sounds of Blackness, Luther Vandross, Janet Jackson, Jocelyn Brown, Aretha Franklin, D’Angelo, Kenny Bobien, and Duran Duran to name a few.